The Steam Whisperer (Formerly Boilerpro)
Joined on May 25, 2008
Last Post on February 18, 2014
@ December 19, 2012 9:11 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilersThe large header and return piping act as equalizers between the boilers, just like between the sections of the Mills boilers. Slant Fin has been doing them this way since the 1960's I understand. When new with dirty water , the waterlines can get a bit wild, but after some cleaning they settle down. I am not sure I would want to try more than 2 this way, since getting them absolutely level with each other would be a challenge.
@ December 19, 2012 9:03 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilersthey are a pain to tune in, but do work. I'm itching for the midco for a couple of reasons.....it uses a variable speed ECM blower with a negative pressure gas valve 4- to 20MA input for speed control, just like all the HW modcons, only bigger. Also, it sounds like it has a very high radiant output, so I be the efficiency in wetbase boilers will be exceptional. The current burner lengths available fit very nicely with the Peerless models.
@ December 19, 2012 10:03 AM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilersThe two stage thermostat controls a simple 2 zone hydronic pump relay panel with each relay firing one boiler. The boilers have on/off Heatwise Burners( Heatwise was a casualty of our bad economy). The second boiler almost never fires, as can be expected. The boilers capacity was matched to the heat loss of the home, not the installed EDR. This makes the need for Orifice plates part of the bargain. It really doesn't make sense to use two stage pressure controls with this set up, as the only thing that matters is the temperature at the stat. If you install TRV's on all the radieators, then a pressure control would make sense (probably in addition to the stat), because the load on the boilers may drop and you may end with two boilers firng when only one is needed.
A big advantage of using the power burners over the atmospheric is not only the higher thermal efficiency, but the stand by losses of an off, but steam hot boiler are lower than with atmospheric. Unless you install motorized valves on the supply and return of the second stage boiler, it will act as a condensor for the primary boiler and be kept hot all season. This is a big difference from hot water,where flow through an off boiler can be stopped just by P/S piping. I've done a few mulitple atmospherics and with stack dampers the boiler rooms are roasting from all the heat fromthe second stage boilers dumping into the boiler room.
I have laid out and priced the cost to do 2 atmospherics staged with zone valves, etc. It gets pretty pricey. In addition, after doing some efficiency analysis with atmospherics, it appears its a bad idea to split the heat loss (not radiation load) into two equally size boilers. You're better off using a 60 to 65 /40 split so the second boiler only fires in very severe weather. This is probably why the traditional split was 50/50 but included the 33% to 50% pick up factor. Esentially you ended up with a 65/65 split, when looking at heat loss.
2gph burners would be about 280,000 input, I was only at 200,000 input, so the TR-40 are fine. Also, the TR-40's use only one riser, greatly simplifying the pipng.
@ December 18, 2012 9:08 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilersThese two TR-40 , 200,000 input boilers heat over 70 radiators in a 10,000 sq ft 1930's home with no insulation. All windows are leaded glass with no storms. Highest winter bill is about $700.00 here in Chicago. Control is a simple two stage thermostat. It been running a couple winters now, but the system is awaitng orifice plates to get the heating even. The only problem we'rehaving is the water content is so low, that we may have to had a holding tank at the water line.
@ December 18, 2012 6:20 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilersPowerflame makes a 11 to 1 mod burner, max input of 400,000. I believe Midco may make a smaller one too...you just have to ask for it.
@ December 18, 2012 5:07 PM in thoughts on 1 vs 2 boilersThe quietest out there is the Midco LNB1000. The smallest is the 500,000 input with 4 to 1 modulation. Not much louder than a louder atmospheric and the intake air can be ducted in to really quiet it down. These burners have no burner roar.....mainly all you hear is the blower. Midco didn't intend for this burner to be used in boilers, but they look great. I hope to have one in soon.....Steamhead is working to put one in too.
@ December 17, 2012 10:16 PM in American Standard G60-8If its the boiler I'm thinking of (had one in my old house) with atmospheric burners, that would be 240,000 input (30,000 btu input per section). They were quite efficient.....about the same as most atmospherics today.
@ December 17, 2012 9:09 PM in Need Install manual for HBSmith 18-10 steamNeed to price a repipe and downfiring of one of these. 989,000 input boiler in a 6 flat....a big six flat, but not that big. Can't find anything on them at this time.
@ December 17, 2012 9:07 PM in Wayne vs. Riello or maybe Midco?I have been very unimpressed with them. Others will agree, I believe. have had good luck with midco. Carlin EZ gas is a favorite for many in the intrepid and others.
@ December 11, 2012 6:41 PM in New Boiler at the Best Mansionat least the chimney is getting a steam cleaning!
@ December 10, 2012 5:59 PM in One-Pipe Steam-TRV or Better boiler controls?about a different opinion. Different opinions is how we all can come up with something better than what was in the past. Too bad so many in Washington haven't figured this out!
@ December 10, 2012 10:28 AM in One-Pipe Steam-TRV or Better boiler controls?If the whole building is overheating, then the existing control just needs to be adjusted down. If that doesn't work then a new control is in order.
However, not putting in TRV's will still keep the building 30 years behind the worldwide comfrot and efficiency curve. TRV's in every room in every structure has been required for a long, long time in most countries. Properly installed and properly designed TRV's will cut the fuel usage and increase comfort. Just think about it this way, lots of people have separate temperature controls for each side of thier car....then why shouldn't we have separate temperature controls for each room in our homes?
@ November 27, 2012 7:00 PM in To convert or NotFirst off, the overall savings between a properly running steam system and a hot water system are not that great,if at all. Simple gas fired steam requires virtually no electricity to operate. High efficiency hot water can require upwards 500 to 700 watts. Also, most one pipe steam radiators cannot be converted to hot water....so the whole idea is proabably false. Water systems also can freeze up, so if you have any drafty areas where you have no problems now, you may have them with a water system, especially during power failures or pump failures. Steam boilers use nearly universal replacment parts.....High efficiency hot water boilers are nearly completely proprietary. Your steam boiler lasted 25 years (it should last longer than that, more like 30 years or more), high efficiency hot water boilers typically have a much shorter design life.
Right now you have a potentially very efficient and very simple heating system. You will be converting to a very efficient , but very complicated heating system.
Get a good steam specialest that can properly size and pipe the boiler and take care of any system deficiecies you may have. This is the recommendation by the
@ November 21, 2012 8:37 AM in Zone valves on steamLGB's come from the factory with a two stage gas valve. I would first just run the boiler on low fire all the time for a few weeks to see how it performs. If you are having problems, connect high fire and and use vaporstat to control high fire.
@ November 21, 2012 8:26 AM in Suggestions on reducing heatwould be number one. Next up would be a thermostatic radiator valve to shut off teh heat when not needed.
@ October 28, 2012 7:52 PM in Keeping Steam System Completely Off in Chicago WinterMaintaining the Structure at 45F. Keeping a free standing structure at 45F verus the typical 70F will reduce fuel usage by about 2/3 in Chicago. Also,if it is protected on one or both sides by other structures, the heat will run even less because the adjacent structures will keep it warm (the neighbors heating bills will probably go up). The main problem with plaster is the moisture freezing in the plaster and causing it to separate. I have been in many structures that were heated in some areas and not others, and the plaster in the unheated areas suffers.
I have a number of clients within one block of that address( on Fullerton, Belden and Cleveland) While new owners may make changes, many of the most sought after condos in that area are restrored, not gutted. With the very high property values there, I would expect it would be worth the couple hundred dollars to keep the structure at 45, versus shutting it off. Typically some simple and rather inexensive upgrades can be made to the steam and gas system to cut operating costs considerably, even while retaining the old boiler.
@ October 18, 2012 7:10 AM in Constantly replacing thermocouplethat's the most common problem. If you have a multimeter with millivolts, you can check output between the end of the thermocouple and the outside of the wire when holding pilot valve down for a couple of minutes. The output should be about 27 to 30 MV. Also, the tip should be a dull red, not bright red after being heated by the pilot. Almost all pilots need to be adjusted down at installation because the factory typically leaves them full open at the factory.
@ October 18, 2012 7:04 AM in Recent Install PicsI would suggest using unions after the auto feed and the manual feed valves to help in diagnosing a leaking valve. Also, a 3 inch header is probably not much more cost than a 2 1/2. Of course, if a GSA 125 is only 125,000 input than a 2 1/2 inch header is probably already one size larger than minimum, which is plenty. Oversized headers really make the installation perform exceptionally well. That Williamson looks like a rebranded Weil McLain.
@ October 18, 2012 6:56 AM in I redid the near boiler pipingMuch better and the new header actually is a header that meet manufacturer's specs. Also for safeties sake, run the relief valve drain down to about 4 inches off the floor to help protect from scalding.
@ October 9, 2012 9:47 PM in Peerless G-561-W-S Repipeheat, PB Blaster. and then,if it fits, hammer in a nipple one diameter smaller than the pipe you are trying to remove. This strengthens the walls of the nipple so it won't crush when you pu the wrench on it. Threading on a fitting on the end of the nipple also helps some.
@ October 9, 2012 9:42 PM in molineThe original Moline valves are orificed to limit the amount of steam that enters the radiator at 8 ounces of pressure to about 80% of the condensing capcity of the radiator. Since all the steam is condensed in the radiator, no trap is needed. Just keep the pressure below 8 ounces and you'll no problems and incredibly low fule bills and exceptionally even heating.